Saturday, June 27, 2009

God's Happiness: Self-Knowledge

It's always nice to make a discovery of connections between two beautiful things that we already thought we understood but never put together before. In this case, I have long known that God is infinitely happy and taken great joy in knowing that He is the most joyful person in the entire universe; in fact, He is the fountain of all joy.

I have also intellectually ascertained for years now that God has perfect knowledge; when reading the right systematic theology I have long understood that God has not only perfect knowledge of the universe which He made, but He also has perfect self-knowledge.

"The Father, Son, and Spirit search one another's hearts (1 Cor. 2:10-11). God knows himself exhaustively. We creatures do not have perfect self-knowledge. But there are no unexplored depths in God's nature. He does not surprise Himself. He is word. His word exhaustively expresses his being to himself, among the persons of the Trinity. Our God has perfect knowledge of who he is and of what he does." (Frame, John M. The Doctrine of God; Page 474-5)

My error has been my understanding of the source of God's joyfulness. I have always chocked up the source of God's joyfulness to his providence; to the fact that His will always occurs. But there was another aspect of God's joyfulness which eluded me, and that is His self-knowledge. For the Biblically-minded and regenerate person, there is no greater joy than knowing God and learning more and more about Him, because He continually marvels us and there are never new vistas of understanding which we will not find as we grow closer and closer to Him throughout eternity. This is a profound source of joy for the redeemed.

But consider how joyful such knowledge would make one if such knowledge could be perfect or exhaustive! While we humans, as we come to know ourselves, we come to understand more deeply our flaws and limitations. In the case of humanity, this is a source of sorrow and consternation. God's self-knowledge would be the exact inverse of this. Who can even begin to reflect on the joy which would result from perfectly knowing such an infinitely admirable and perfect person?

And so God is not only infinitely joyful because of His providence and the perfect fulfillment of His will at all times, but He is joyful also because He exhaustively knows Himself, and there is no greater joy for anyone than to know God.

I'm pretty sure my memory is simply faulty, and I am certain that I am walking where Jonathan Edwards has already tread in his Unpublished Essay on the Trinity. No new insights here, just something I've been chewing on, this fine morning.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious food for thought and a great meditation indeed.


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